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Now it Makes Sense … Blade and NYSE Euronext

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A few inquiring minds have been asking me lately about a company called Blade Network Technologies, and specifically why it is participating in a panel “Building the World’s Fastest Trading Network” at next week’s High Performance Computing on Wall Street conference – it’s a panel that I am moderating, and also includes Stanley Young from NYSE Euronext. I have to say, it’s all been a bit hush hush until today.

But now some news is out there … that Juniper Networks, among others, has invested in Blade, and is officially an OEM customer, with Blade supplying Juniper’s EX2500 top-of-rack 10G Ethernet switch. That’s the switch that NYSE Euronext will be deploying in significant numbers as part of the new data centre and network infrastructure that it is rolling out in 2010. So that explains the panel makeup, which also includes Kevin McPartland of Tabb Group to do some big picture ruminating. It should be a good one.

For Blade, the Juniper/NYSE Euronext deal is somewhat of a coup as it competes with a rather bigger competitor in the form of Cisco Systems (which is also hosting a panel at HPConWS). For its part, Blade positions itself as a partner to major server and storage vendors – including HP, IBM, NEC and Verari Systems – whereas Cisco’s recent entry into the server market has brought it into competition with former partners in those spaces.

Today’s news of Series B investment not only from Juniper, but from NEC and another, unnamed technology vendor, as well as further participation from founding investor Garnett & Helfrich Capital, values the company at $230 million, and provides a good base for continued growth, building on a strong track record to date.

Blade’s CEO Vikram Mehta says the company is very much aware of the low latency and low jitter needs of Wall Street customers, and that it has looked to align its products with application needs, such as those of NYSE Technologies’ Data Fabric. The company also plans to announce a significant partnership with a data warehousing company in the near future, says Vikram, who notes the adoption of that technology for data mining by exchanges.

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